By Asha Devineni

Legislative Recap – 2018

The 53rd Second Regular Legislative Session lasted 117 days. The Legislature adjourned sine die on May 4, at 12:26 am. Of the 1,279 bills introduced this session, 345 bills were signed by the Governor and 23 were vetoed. 10 of the vetoed bills were on the basis that there was not a budget being produced that included the teachers pay increase as well as restoration of additional assistance.

Governor Ducey announced a teacher pay increase early in April. The Governor’s plan would include a 20% increase overall by fiscal year 2020 which will amount to an average teacher pay of $58,130, up from the current $48,723. Teachers went on strike for six days starting on April 25th after there had been no legislation introduced to address the teacher pay increase. This lasted through the entire budget process and almost until sine die night. This year’s general appropriation budget bill, HB2665 general appropriations act; 2018-2019, includes provisions regarding the teachers pay increase such as the legislative intent that the increase of $273,706,100 in GF monies for basic state aid in FY2019 be used for teacher salary increases.

In June of 2017, Governor Ducey  issued a Declaration of Emergency and an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory in response to the opioid overdose epidemic in Arizona. In the Governor’s State of the State address, he addressed this issue and expressed the need to find a solution. As a product of the 53rd First Special Session beginning January 23rd, SB1001 controlled substances; regulation; appropriation was passed. The bill established a good Samaritan system that would prohibit a person from being criminally charged in regard to drug possession, if the person was seeking medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose. It puts further regulations on dentists, physician assistants, osteopathic physicians and more for dispensing schedule II controlled substances. The bill also appropriates $10,000,000 from the state in FY18 to establish the Substance Abuse Disorder Fund.

SB1519 school safety; protective orders; appropriations was introduced this session in response to the amount of school shootings occurring. This bill addressed suicide prevention training, school safety emergency response plans, mental and behavioral health services for schools, public safety training and reporting and also create a Severe Threat Order Protection system, This bill was very controversial and had lengthy debate in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee as well as Committee of the Whole. This bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 17-13. This bill was never given a hearing in the House probably due to the teachers pay increase issue.

Another issue that Governor Ducey mentioned in his State of the State address was Arizona’s water. There were several bills introduced throughout session such as SB1507/2512 water program amendments, HB2553 adequate water supply; county review and SB1509 water; interstate sales. While there were bills that had some legislative action on them, the issue of water did not receive much attention due to the other pertinent issues going on.

Thank you for tuning in to Arizona Voices; see you back here next year.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of March 5

Next week will be the last week for House consideration of Senate bills and Senate consideration of House bills. The Appropriation Committees in both chambers will have an extra week to hear bills.

The following bills are of note:

  • SB1390 TPT; additional rate; education will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday (3/22). This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021.
  • HB2126 government property; abatement; slum; blight was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday (3/14). This bill passed out of committee with a vote of 7-0. There was a committee amendment that was adopted to the bill which can be found at the link provided: https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/460190
  • HB2490 contracts; licensure requirement waivers will be heard in the Senate Commerce and Public Safety committee on Monday (3/19). This bill would permit two or more private parties in a contract to agree to waive any state, city, town or county laws relating to licensure, certification, registration or other authorization to act for the purposes of the contract if a list of specified conditions apply.

By Asha Devineni

Legislative Update Week of February 12

A total of 1,279 bills have been introduced this session. This week was the last week for House and Senate bills to be heard in their respective chambers.

On Monday (2/12) the Yuma County Board of Supervisors voted for Tim Dunn to fill the LD 13 seat left vacant after the expulsion of Don Shooter from the House.

The following bills are of note:

  • HB2005: municipal economic development; sale; lease. Municipal governing bodies are authorized to sell or lease for “economic development activities” land or buildings owned by or under the control of the municipality if specified conditions are met, including that the lease term cannot exceed 25 years, that the land or building is appraised by an experienced appraiser, and that the land is sold or leased at a public auction to the highest responsible bidder after public notice of the sale or lease is given. This bill passed out of the House 32-26 and was referred to the Senate.
  • HB2090: tax credit review; evaluation standard. The standards used by the Joint Legislative Income Tax Review Committee to evaluate tax credits may include whether adequate protections are in place to ensure that the fiscal impact of the credit in future years does not increase substantially beyond the current projections. This bill passed out of the House 57-0 and is ready for the Senate.
  • HB2116: limitations of actions; dedicated property. Municipalities and counties are prohibited from instituting or maintaining an action or arbitration based on a required permit against a person who develops or develops and sells real property that is dedicated to the municipality or county more than eight years after “substantial completion”of the improvement.
  • HB2126: government property; abatement; slum; blight. Modifies the size of the geographical area for a central business district. The bill also modifies the requirements for leases between a prime lessee and a government lessor for which tax is abated.This bill was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee and there were references to a possible floor amendment that all parties agreed on. This bill passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee with a vote of 7-1-1.
  • HB2158: TPT; additional rate; education. Beginning July 1, 2021, an additional transaction privilege tax (TPT) rate increment is levied at the rate of 0.6 percent of the tax base of the list of business classifications. The State Treasurer is required to distribute the revenues for various public education purposes according to a specified formula, including $86.3 million annually to the Department of Education for increased basic state aid. This legislation effectively makes permanent the additional TPT rate for education approved by the voters as Proposition 301 in November 2000, which will expire June 30, 2021. Amendment #4184 was added to this bill.
  • HB2165: county excise tax for transportation. The board of supervisors of any county is permitted to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. If approved by the voters, the county is required to levy and the Department of Revenue is required to collect the tax beginning January 1 or July 1, whichever occurs first after voter approval, on the same tax base that applies to other excise taxes in the county.
  • HB2280: universities; lease-back financing. Prohibits ABOR or a corporation formed by a university from entering into a development agreement unless the property improvement is primarily for an academic purpose or student housing. This bill passed out of the committee with a vote of 5-4 and amendment #4071.
  • SB1014: municipal zoning; zoning protests. Clarifies that the group of persons authorized to file a protest in writing against a municipal rezoning, which triggers a requirement for the rezoning to obtain a 3/4 vote of the municipal governing body for passage, is the owners of 20 percent or more of the property. This bill passed out of the the Senate with a vote of 23-7.
  • SB1147: county excise tax for transportation. Permits the board of supervisors of any county to submit to the voters a transportation plan funded by an excise tax. This passed out of committee with a vote of 7-0.
    • The identical bill (HB2165) listed above, was reconsidered in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday (2/7).

  • SCR1002: The 2018 general election ballot is to carry the question of whether to amend the state Constitution to require, beginning in 2018, a statewide initiative or referendum that is approved by a vote of the people to be referred to a subsequent vote of the people ten years after the measure’s initial approval. The subsequent vote must be on the question of whether to reauthorize the measure for another ten-year period.

By azvoicesadmin

Education, Marijuana, Guns top early bills for 2016 Legislative Session

The 2016 legislative session kicks off Monday, January 11th and already over 61 Bills have been pre-filed in the Senate and over 75 in the House. Arizona Voices is back once again to help you communicate your thoughts, ideas, and approval of their actions. Log in now to AZVoices.gov and take a look at the bills that have been pre-filed and cast your early vote.

Early bills range from the legalization of marijuana, banning video taping of police officers marking arrests, to a bill that would ignore presidential executive actions. Prison Reform and Tax Cuts appear to be on Governor Ducey’s mind as is the plight of vulnerable children based on remarks at a recent forum. Arizona Republic Columnist Laurie Roberts is watching including these nine bills that could make a difference this session.  State Legislature Reporter Alia Beard Rau says these 10 Bills Are Likely to Go No Where.

Stay informed, get engaged, and let your state representative know where you stand. Bookmark AZVoices.gov, get your friends and colleagues registered and join in the conversation.

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As of Dec. 31, 2018, the Arizona Voices website will no longer be available. Thank you to all who have been active users. We encourage you to remain engaged in the legislative process.

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Legislative Recap – 2018
Legislative Update Week of March 5
Legislative Update Week of February 12
Education, Marijuana, Guns top early bills for 2016 Legislative Session